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Fragments of a Wandering Mind
Artist:   Katie Vanderzaag
Label:   Humber Records
Length: 10 tracks / 44:44 minutes

Katie Vanderzaag is a gifted 22-year old Australian singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist hailing from the southern state of Victoria.  Fragments of a Wandering Mind is her first full-length release. (In June of 2002, she released the What It’s Like EP -  the first release on Humber Records.)  Five of the album’s songs were co-written by Katie with Jared Haschek of Humber Records (who’s also a member of the band Compliments of Gus).  The fine production skills of Gavin Chan are evident throughout.

I first came across Katie’s music on one of the ‘Down Under’ compilations.  (By the way, if you want a good overview of Australasian artists/bands, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better compilation than these. A 2-CD compilation is released each year. The first one came out in 2001. For further details on these compilations visit or contact Executive Producer Jeff Townsend at  I’ve also seen and heard her perform at the AGMF (that’s the Australian Gospel Music Festival – Australia’s biggest annual Christian music event ).

After the experimental rock sounds of the first track "Not About Me," Katie launches into the very radio-friendly pop-rock anthem "Alive."  (The other must-have single for radio is the infectious "Next Time.")  "In Your Hands" has an addictive eastern/esoteric/Creed-ish-sounding riff to it.  The "Beautiful Girl" ballad is carried along by a beautiful piano arrangement and string accompaniment.  "Desperate" has a great accordion and mandolin accompaniment to it.  (Australian mainstream vocalist Jenny Morris, or even Gospel duo Vika & Linda, could’ve sung this.)  "Say" is a ‘protest’ kind of song describing the sad and sorry state of this world – "We’ve got to change our ways, but do you want to change your ways?."  It’s also the album’s longest track clocking in at one second under six minutes.  Real and lasting friendship is the topic of "The Dog Song" which features some superb Hammond instrumentation.  (The song has a Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders’ feel to it.)  "Together" addresses the topic of marriage – written for a friend’s wedding.  The album closes with the reflective "Guzelek" (don’t ask me what that means!).  Hang - these are all great songs!  Violinist Kirsten Tyson and cellist Sonja Hornung bring a greater depth of sound on several tracks.

Overall, this is a more experimental offering from Katie.  She also rocks harder than she did on her previous release.  Now don’t get me wrong - this is not Katie trying to be someone else.  This is Katie becoming even more the musical self that God has created her to be.  She’s definitely moved on musically - deliberately stretching her musical boundaries beyond the comfort zone and for that she is to be commended. 

Frank Rasenberger     November 25, 2005



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